Laravale woman determined to bring natural burials to the Scenic Rim

NATURAL: Janet Brown wants no-frills burials to be available in the Scenic Rim. Photo: Larraine Sathicq
NATURAL: Janet Brown wants no-frills burials to be available in the Scenic Rim. Photo: Larraine Sathicq

ON the 12 month anniversary of her husbands death, Laravale widow Janet Brown was last week still knocking on council's door in an effort to make natural burials available in the Scenic Rim,

Mrs Brown said her 75-year-old husband, Archibald Bernard Brown, known to friends and family as Bernie, had started to plan his own funeral well before he passed away from leukaemia at Beaudesert Hospital on November 27 last year.

Because the option, which saw Mr Brown's body wrapped in calico and buried in a simple cardboard coffin with no headstone, was not available locally, the family had to hold the interment service at Alberton on the Gold Coast.

"This is what Bern wanted, he planned it himself and I think it's something we should have here," Mrs Brown said.

"I have had meetings with council to talk about making it an option and I believe they think it's a good idea.

"They have been really open and lovely. They told me they won't forget and I said, 'no, I won't let you'."

A council spokesperson said it would consider the possibility of establishing a natural burial site within the Scenic Rim based on feedback from the community.

"Council does not currently have a natural burials location within the Scenic Rim," the spokesperson said.

"However if there was a strong demonstrated need or desire from the community, it is something council would consider."

Mrs Brown, who admitted she was still very much affected by grief, said she was grateful for the help she had received from family, neighbours, police and her local doctor in the past 12 months.

She said she had also received positive feedback from a Beaudesert Times story about her families' experience published in June.

"I've had a few people tell me they think it's a great idea," Mrs Brown said.

"I have no regrets about Bernie's burial, he got a natural burial exactly where he wanted to be.

"I made a cross out of sticks but last time we went there the sticks had moved. My daughter's dog, Alvin, went straight to the spot. He knows exactly where Pa is."